Here we highlight selected innovation related articles from around the world on a daily basis. These articles related to innovation and funding for innovative companies, and best practices for innovation based economic development.
We’ve been getting and sending a lot of holiday greetings, but one we have yet to hear is: “Have a Very New Year!” Perhaps it sounds too ambiguous for a real felicitation; safer to wish upon each other happiness rather than newness. But what if the newness of the new year was more than a calendrical trope? What if we rolled into January as if we were rolling into undiscovered country — ties cut, wagons loaded, oxen hitched?
When we encounter people and organizations the initial experience speaks volumes to their purpose. Our first experience with people and organizations is with their media. Media now reflects intentions that are immediately transparent and if not designed with a “social element” the experience reflects an anti-social purpose. Anti-social experiences are not relational.
What Is Your Purpose?
Purpose reflects a person or organizations thinking aimed at achieving a goal in a given system, whether human or machine. Its most general sense is the anticipated result which guides decision making in choosing appropriate actions within a range of strategies . Purpose serves the intent of ones actions which are reflected in subsequent communications that relate to said actions. In today’s eco-system of social media one’s purpose is detected by the context of the content people and organizations propagate. Content attracts us to a destination, your site, and when we get to your destination the experience better reflect our purpose, not yours.
Economic growth is a fascinating topic and Eliot Spitzer adds to it in "Inventing a new Economy," in Slate (December 28, 2009). It was impossible not to compare it to Arnold Kling and Nick Schulz's book, "From Poverty to Prosperity," which I [Brooks M. Wilson] continue to enjoy, savoring their insights and those gleaned from many great economists, and on which I recently posted ("Kling and Schulz: The Importance of Markets"). Spitzer's article is worthwhile reading, and his main point that the United States needs to remain a creative, innovative society is correct, but he makes several economic errors which perhaps can be forgiven because he is an attorney/politician/journalist, not an economist.
Spitzer describes ideas and the resultant innovations as an international competition in which countries win or lose depending on their ability to turn ideas into innovations.
Silicon Valley, a driving engine of California's economy, started the last decade with the dot-com bust. It starts a new one looking remarkably resilient.
This might sound like casual boosterism from someone who has covered the valley for 10 years.
It's not. Egos are big enough around here without an extra dose of self promotion from me. And it's clear that Silicon Valley has more than its share of social and economic challenges.
Opportunist, enabler, advocate and producer are the four models of corporate entrepreneurship that Robert C. Wolcott and Michael J. Lippitz discuss in ‘Grow from Within’ (www.tatamcgrawhill.com).
Mapping the models on two dimensions, viz. organisational ownership (ranging from diffused to focussed) and resource authority (ad hoc to dedicated), the authors find that all companies begin as opportunists.
“Without any designated organisational ownership or resources, corporate entrepreneurship proceeds (if at all) based on the efforts and serendipity of intrepid ‘project champions’ – people who toil against the odds, often creating new businesses in spite of the corporation.”
Worst decade: The Republican Party, from Karl Rove's pronouncement of a "permanent majority" to total collapse and minority status.
Worst performance of the year: The Democratic Party, who after securing the White House and a Democratic majority have been so brazenly arrogant and politically incompetent as to have allowed a conservative comeback one year after people thought, said and wrote that conservatism was dead.
Biggest winner of 2009: Sarah Palin. No man could have bailed on his governorship to find himself in national news continually, with supporters growing daily, while orchestrating it all from a Facebook page, and putting so much fear into the DNC that they put out an oppo memo on her, even though she's not running for anything (until 2012, that is).
Over the past couple years I have written several stories with “frog soup” as a main theme. The idea of being in cold water, and not recognizing the degree by degree increase of heat in the water, till at some point we are cooked, is the danger of being a cold-blooded animal. Business may follow a similar course.
In business we can follow the route of “this is the way we’ve always done it, and it works, so there is no reason to change our processes or strategies.” Innovations like virtualization or cloud computing hit the headlines, and many say “it is a cool idea, but we want the security and hands-on confidence of running our own servers and applications.”
How would you feel about a physician who killed more patients than he helped? What about a police detective who committed more murders than he solved? Or a teacher whose students were more likely to get dumber than smarter as the school year progressed? And what if you discovered that these perverse outcomes were more the rule than the exception—that they were characteristic of most doctors, policemen and professors? You’d be more than perplexed. You’d be incensed, outraged. You’d demand that something must be done!
Given this, why are we complacent when confronted with data that suggest most managers are more likely to douse the flames of employee enthusiasm than fan them, and are more likely to frustrate extraordinary accomplishment than to foster it?
Cutting deep into the inner reaches of the atom to see what matter is really made of. It sounds like science fiction, or perhaps a physicist’s dream, but in December, one giant step was taken toward accomplishing just that, as the Large Hadron Collider kicked into action.
It was just one of the stories that made 2009 a dynamic year in science and technology.
Large Hadron Collider
With technical problems resolved, the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, sent proton beams whizzing through a 27-kilometer-long circular tunnel under the French-Swiss border, colliding them at a record 2.36 trillion electron volts. After this crucial early success, the stage is set for the discovery of mysterious subatomic particles – and perhaps some of the keys to the universe itself.
Lets end the year with a technology puzzle.
To get started,click on a word and the moment you do that, timer starts. Once you finish the puzzle, you will be prompted to enter your name/site url along with the finishing time (well, that’s system generated).
Top 10 timings, along with the names will be displayed on the page.
[Editor's Note: Puzzle is available on the original page.]
In late 2007, during the early months of his faculty position at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, Benjamin tenOever faced a wrinkle in his research plans. Experienced in looking at how cells respond to viruses, he'd set his sights on microRNA and how these small molecular segments that tweak protein expression might help cells fight off infection. After months of work, the project looked like it might be a dead end: They had found that microRNAs are produced as a virus infects a cell, but those sequences didn't make a difference in how a cell responded to its invader.
The end of the year is a great time. Not only do you have the holidays, the cheer, and good friends and family close by, you also have the perfect start date for everything. Let me provide some examples and you tell me when it sounds familiar.
When are you going to rewrite your site content? After the first of the year!
When are you going to try out social media? After the first of the year!